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In International journal of sports physiology and performance ; h5-index 49.0

PURPOSE : To evaluate the relative importance and predictive ability of salivary immunoglobulin A (s-IgA) measures with regards to upper respiratory illness (URI) in youth athletes.

METHODS : Over a 38-week period, 22 youth athletes (age = 16.8 [0.5] y) provided daily symptoms of URI and 15 fortnightly passive drool saliva samples, from which s-IgA concentration and secretion rate were measured. Kernel-smoothed bootstrapping generated a balanced data set with simulated data points. The random forest algorithm was used to evaluate the relative importance (RI) and predictive ability of s-IgA concentration and secretion rate with regards to URI symptoms present on the day of saliva sampling (URIday), within 2 weeks of sampling (URI2wk), and within 4 weeks of sampling (URI4wk).

RESULTS : The percentage deviation from average healthy s-IgA concentration was the most important feature for URIday (median RI 1.74, interquartile range 1.41-2.07). The average healthy s-IgA secretion rate was the most important feature for URI4wk (median RI 0.94, interquartile range 0.79-1.13). No feature was clearly more important than any other when URI symptoms were identified within 2 weeks of sampling. The values for median area under the curve were 0.68, 0.63, and 0.65 for URIday, URI2wk, and URI4wk, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS : The RI values suggest that the percentage deviation from average healthy s-IgA concentration may be used to evaluate the short-term risk of URI, while the average healthy s-IgA secretion rate may be used to evaluate the long-term risk. However, the results show that neither s-IgA concentration nor secretion rate can be used to accurately predict URI onset within a 4-week window in youth athletes.

Sawczuk Thomas, Jones Ben, Welch Mitchell, Beggs Clive, Scantlebury Sean, Till Kevin

2021-Jan-13

adolescent, immune function, machine learning, monitoring